How to get the grip back on shoes

How to get the grip back on shoes

Athletic shoes tend to lose their traction and grip as you use them. It is often due to dust particles getting lodged in the sole. This can make the shoes slippery and less grippy.

If you have basketball shoes, the grip becomes even more critical. If your shoes don’t have a good grip, your shoes are likely to slip, and you won’t be able to perform precise movements.

Some people don’t have much idea about how to get grip back on shoes. They opt for buying new shoes when their old pair isn’t doing the job. 

You can increase your shoes’ grip by following a few simple methods and make your shoes last longer. 

Here are some tips to improve the grip of your shoes.

Clean the shoes

It is the most basic and effective method to give your shoes more grip, especially if the soles have dust. It is straightforward. You can either use a wet towel to rub the bottom of your shoes or rinse the soles with water.

After cleaning the shoes with water, take a dry cloth or towel and dry them. If they are wet and the towel won’t work, you can also air-dry your shoes.

And if you want to move one step ahead of everyone, find a brush and some detergent to give your shoes a thorough clean. An old toothbrush will work just fine. Mix the detergent in water and spritz some over the soles while rubbing them with the brush. Be sure to clean the grooves properly so there’s no dust left.

Afterwards, leave your shoes to dry, and bingo, you’re good to go.

See also  Sanitize Your Shoes To Make Them Fresh & Odorless | Complete Guide

This step will restore the grip of your shoes.

Learn How to tie a Shoes & How to clean Climbing Shoes

Sticky mats and sprays

If cleaning the soles of your shoes isn’t doing the job. You can use enhancers such as sprays or lotions. They can improve the grip of shoes by drastic amounts. You can find many of them on Amazon. 

Just spray over the soles of your shoes, and you can quickly increase the grip on your shoes to a great extent. 

There are special sticky mats often available at basketball courts. By stepping on the sticky mat once, you can drastically improve your grip. Such mats can easily be purchased from Amazon.

Getting the grip back mid-game

The cleaning and other methods work fine. But what if you start to lose traction during a basketball match. The easiest way to get the grip back on your shoes is by applying sweat or saliva.

It may seem gross but trust me, it works. Just apply some saliva or sweat to the soles and rub them over. You’ll be surprised by how effective it is.

Many basketball players do it, and I’ve often done it myself. It helps you get the grip back on your shoes. 

Using products such as hairspray or vaseline

A few quick sprays of hairspray on the soles of your shoes can quickly give you that much-needed grip. Hairspray improves the grip of the sole by making it a bit sticky. Some of the dust will also get rubbed off the soles. 

Suppose you don’t have hairspray around. You can easily make do with some vaseline. Apply moderate vaseline to the soles and spread it with your finger or a brush. Let it dry, and then use the shoes. It will also make the sole sticky and improve traction.

You can repeat this procedure according to your need if you feel like your shoes are again losing traction.  

Using special products

You can buy a sticky gel to get the grip back on your shoes. These products can be found on Amazon and are very effective in doing the cleaning job.

See also  How to Destink Shoes?

They increase the traction of your shoes to a great extent. Just apply the gel on the soles like vaseline, and you’re good to go.

Cheap and easy solution

You can use simple sandpaper for a myriad of purposes. It can also clean the shoes’ soles, thus giving them more grip. 

As dust and other particles collect in the sole’s grooves, the grip can drastically reduce. 

Grab sandpaper and rub it well on the sole. It will remove any dust collected there and restore the grip of your shoes.

Addressing the root cause

What makes the basketball shoes lose their grip? The simple answer is dust. If the court you’re playing on is grimy and dirty and isn’t cleaned regularly. Then chances are that your shoes will lose grip quickly even after you’ve cleaned them. ’

The best solution would be to clean your court regularly. A bucket of water with some added detergent and a mop will do just fine.

After cleaning the court, you’ll notice that your shoes lose their grip less often, and less dirt gets collected in them. 

The last resort 

If you have tried all the ways mentioned above to improve the grip and you are still not satisfied with the grip of your shoes, your best bet is to get the soles replaced.

Dust alone isn’t the deciding factor in the grip of your shoes. The more you use your shoes; eventually, there is going to be wear and tear. Worn-out soles don’t offer good traction and grip.

If you want less strain on your pocket and don’t want to invest in new shoes, you can quickly get by replacing your soles.

New soles will give you that much-needed traction and grip, and the process isn’t too costly either.

Final Thoughts

Grip and traction are essential components of any athletic shoe, especially a basketball shoe. If you’re having trouble with your grip, your performance can suffer. 

The above-mentioned tips and tricks will allow you to quickly get the grip back on your shoes and improve your performance. 

See also  Should You Wear Socks With Climbing Shoes?

If the methods mentioned above won’t work, or you tried them and they are no longer working. It would be best if you considered investing in a new pair of shoes.


Why are my shoes slippery even with no visible dust?

Athletic shoes tend to lose their grip and traction quickly. Even when a thin layer of dust is present, you can lose some grip. That is why it’s essential to clean the shoes to retain their grip regularly

How to fix slippery soles?

Use hairspray. It works like a charm. If you have rubber shoes that are getting slippery, using hairspray on the soles will solve your problem.

How to make shoes slip-resistant?

You can use sticky materials to prevent your shoes from getting slippery. Another easy method is using a salt and rubber glue mixture. It will immediately improve the friction produced by your shoes.

How to improve grip on worn-out shoes?

Use a wire brush. Dip it in a mixture of soap and water, and rub the soles and sides of your shoe. Dry out the shoes and use them. You’ll notice that your shoes now have more grip.


By now, you should know some of the best ways to improve the grip on your shoes. Improving the grip is essential as this is the only way to get traction between the shoes and the bare rocks. And when these rocks become slippery, low-grip shoes can also prove to be fatal as the chances of slipping are significantly increased. Thus to avoid any mishap on the part of the grip of the shoes, spend a reasonable amount of time and money if needed on improving the grip. This will not only enhance your climbing experience but will also prevent any fatal mistakes.

leah Leonard

Leah Leonard

Leah Leonard is a renowned author and seasoned climber, best known for her captivating book, “Perfect Climbing.” Her experiences scaling the world’s most formidable peaks have not only shaped her adventurous spirit but also lend a unique authenticity to her compelling narratives.

Similar Posts